Low Case & Chamber Pressure High MV 45-70 Loads???


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Ole Humpback
August 24, 2011, 10:58 PM
I've been reading through the Nosler & Barnes Reloading guides and found that they have some great loads for Marlin/Replica Sharps guns that get a 300gr round going 2200+ fps. Great for deer and paper punching at all ranges. But I started looking for some more powerful loads for bigger game and started coming up short. Barnes largest load is a 400gr round at 1950fps. I'm looking at getting a 500gr Nosler or Barnes round to the same speed so it could do DG hunting out of a Pedersoli Sharps if I ever decide to do it (just thinking it over for now). I understand that the Pedersoli's aren't built to handle Ruger No 1 loads like a Shilo Sharps, but it does have a 32" barrel to work with which gets me to thinking about really slow burning powders that could take advantage of the barrel length.

Any thoughts besides me being crazy?

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56hawk
August 24, 2011, 11:24 PM
A 458 Win Mag barely makes over 1950 fps with a 500 grain bullet. At 50,000 psi I might add. Don't think you could safely get a 45-70 to do that even with a modern bolt action. By the way, straight wall cases like the 45-70 aren't very sensitive to barrel length and I doubt that you will get more than a 50 fps gain over a 24" barrel.

Sorry, just don't think it is possible.

Ole Humpback
August 24, 2011, 11:36 PM
Barnes is getting Ruger No 1 loads for a 400gr 45-70 to 2100fps, but thats at 55,000psi from a 24" test barrel:

http://www.barnesbullets.com/information/load-data/data-458/

Ed Huble, hubel458 on here, has a 12ga 3" all brass round shooting an 830gr slug at 2600fps at standard 12ga chamber pressures in off the shelf 12ga shotguns. He just uses tons of slow burning powder. So I know that slobber knocking rounds have been made/are currently being made by using slow burning powders. I'm curious as to what are the good choices for slow burning powders to look at. Plus, theres 32" of barrel there. I seem to recall reading that Shilo Sharps build there rifles to handle the Ruger No 1 loads and have seen consistent 100-200fps MV gains just from 8" of barrel length in a 45-70.

56hawk
August 25, 2011, 12:00 AM
You could try IMR 4350. I use it in my 460 Weatherby to get 2700 fps with a 500 grain bullet. :) I think you are going to run out of case capacity before you get anywhere close to 1950 fps though. I was comparing the 45-70 to the 458 Win Mag because the case capacity is a lot closer. However even with the 458's larger capacity it still takes a compressed load of IMR 4895 to get maximum velocity and that's a fairly fast burning powder.

By the way, thanks for the link. I just bought a 458 Lott and couldn't find any reloading data for it.

highlander 5
August 25, 2011, 01:57 PM
Only one BIG problem with the heavier 45/70 loads, recoil. Those 500 grain loads with smokeless powder will pound you into the ground like a tent peg. Ask me how I know.
Most 45/70 are in the 7-9 lb range,fairly light if your going to fire bullet that is equal in weight to a 12 gauge slug. of my 2 45/70 only my Shiloh Sharps is comfortable to shoot with the heavier 500 -520 gr bullets and that rifle weighs in at 13+ lbs with scope.
My 1885 Browning is a killer on both ends.

56hawk
August 25, 2011, 02:55 PM
Only one BIG problem with the heavier 45/70 loads, recoil. Those 500 grain loads with smokeless powder will pound you into the ground like a tent peg. Ask me how I know.

How do you know? :D Seriously though, what kind of velocity can you get with a 500 grain bullet. I've only shot factory 45-70 and it's pretty wimpy.

Jim Watson
August 25, 2011, 03:04 PM
Agree with 56Hawk.
You are not going to be able to get the same velocity out of a 500 grain bullet as with a maximum load and a 400 grain bullet.
A close study of the data says you might be able to run a 500 grain cast bullet (greased lead gets down the barrel easier than dry copper) at 1600 fps with a load right at the SAAMI maximum pressure.

Just what kind of dangerous game were you talking about, anyhow?

flashhole
August 25, 2011, 05:12 PM
A 500 grain bullet moving at 1600 - 1700 fps is very difficult to stop. There is nothing on this continent that can stand up to it. And ... there is no rule that says you can't pull the trigger more than once.

Ole Humpback
August 25, 2011, 11:43 PM
Just what kind of dangerous game were you talking about, anyhow?

Things that you would want a 375 H&H or 416 Rigby shooting Woodleigh Solids for: Cape Buffalo, Lion, Elephant. Reason I'm looking at a 1950 500gr round is that several African nations now have ME requirements that are just over what a 1950fps 400gr round can achieve. Not that I'd necessarily want to use a 45-70 on its own, but having the option would be nice.

The Pedersoli I'm looking at weighs almost 11lbs on its own, so recoil with heavy loads would be somewhat mitigated. Also, keep in mind a Sharps is a single shot precision gun:

http://www.cherrys.com/pedpics/L780b.jpg

56hawk
August 25, 2011, 11:57 PM
Have you thought about either rechambering to a bigger cartridge like the 45-120 or free boring the barrel so you can seat the bullets further out? I just still think you are going to need more case capacity.

ArchAngelCD
August 26, 2011, 02:36 AM
Great for deer and paper punching at all ranges. But I started looking for some more powerful loads for bigger game and started coming up short.
IMO additional velocity is unnecessary. The 45-70 at moderate speeds (Black powder speeds) will send a 405gr to 500gr lead bullet clear through a Buffalo. What are you going to be hunting that's bigger than a Buffalo? Why in the world would you need more velocity?

BUT, if you really want more velocity buy something in 450 Marlin. (which is actually a modern 45-70 Govt.)

BTW, that photo is HUGE and scrolls across about 4 page widths.

Jim Watson
August 26, 2011, 01:57 PM
Things that you would want a 375 H&H or 416 Rigby shooting Woodleigh Solids for: Cape Buffalo, Lion, Elephant. Reason I'm looking at a 1950 500gr round is that several African nations now have ME requirements that are just over what a 1950fps 400gr round can achieve. Not that I'd necessarily want to use a 45-70 on its own, but having the option would be nice.

I don't think that is feasible. As said that is real world .458 Win Mag ballistics with a 2.5" case at 25% higher chamber pressure than the heaviest of .45-70 +P and nearly double SAAMI specs.

The Pedersoli I'm looking at weighs almost 11lbs on its own, so recoil with heavy loads would be somewhat mitigated. Also, keep in mind a Sharps is a single shot precision gun:

True and true. But the crescent steel buttplate and steep drop at the comb of the rifle you illustrate - looks like a dressed up Pedersoli - are wonderful recoil amplifiers. I was glad to get the crescent butt off my little .38-55 and replace it with a shotgun butt and recoil pad.
A 32 inch .45-70 will indeed do a precision number on a ram silhouette at 500 metres or a bullseye at 600 yards. Loaded right, it will do fine at 1000 yards.
I don't know what that has to do with great big game at typical great big game ranges, though.
List price on that Pedersoli is $2875. For a Sharps hunting rifle, I'd put the money into a Shiloh or C Sharps No 1 Sporter with shotgun butt.

Ole Humpback
August 26, 2011, 09:06 PM
Have you thought about either rechambering to a bigger cartridge like the 45-120 or free boring the barrel so you can seat the bullets further out? I just still think you are going to need more case capacity.

There are no modern 45-120 Sharps cartridges, they are all BPCR rounds. That is, they are loaded with BP. High volume smokeless loads don't exist and no one has a rifle chambered in 45-120 Sharps (although I'm very sure one could be built with the right amount of money). For more info, Chuck Hawks:

.45-120 and .45-125 Sharps (Straight)

Introduced late in 1878 or early in 1879, the .45-120 Sharps was a very powerful bison cartridge that arrived too late to make much difference in the fate of the great herds. This huge rimmed, straight taper case was 3.25" long with a head diameter of .506" and a neck diameter of .490". COL was 4.16"!

Cases were made with two different wall thicknesses, which therefore had different maximum powder capacities. Hence the .45-120 and .45-125 designations. Externally the two were identical, and the same rifle could fire either cartridge.

Factory loads drove a 500 grain lead bullet at a MV of 1520 fps with ME of 2561 ft. lbs. A 550 grain bullet could be given a MV of 1500 fps and ME of 2749 ft. lbs. by 120 grains of black powder. One account I read stated that the recoil of the big cartridge was surprisingly mild. The reported 19 pound weight of Sharps rifles so chambered may have had something to do with this.

IMO additional velocity is unnecessary. The 45-70 at moderate speeds (Black powder speeds) will send a 405gr to 500gr lead bullet clear through a Buffalo. What are you going to be hunting that's bigger than a Buffalo? Why in the world would you need more velocity?

It is necessary if you want it to be legal for hunting DG in most of Africa with one. A 1950fps 400gr (Barnes Marlin load) round generates 3400ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle and a 2100fps 400gr (Barnes Ruger No 1 load) round generates 3900ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle. Most African nations have set the legal minimum muzzle energy for a DG round at 4000ft/lbs, which is a hair less than a factory loaded 300gr 375 H&H Mag. So you either increase the velocity of the 400gr round to 2150fps (4100ft/lbs ME), or you drop to a 1900fps MV and get a 500gr round (4000ft/lbs ME). Reason I was looking at the 500gr round at 1900fps is that you can load a Nosler Partition, Barnes Banded Solid, or Woodliegh Solid.

True and true. But the crescent steel buttplate and steep drop at the comb of the rifle you illustrate - looks like a dressed up Pedersoli - are wonderful recoil amplifiers. I was glad to get the crescent butt off my little .38-55 and replace it with a shotgun butt and recoil pad. A 32 inch .45-70 will indeed do a precision number on a ram silhouette at 500 metres or a bullseye at 600 yards. Loaded right, it will do fine at 1000 yards. I don't know what that has to do with great big game at typical great big game ranges, though. List price on that Pedersoli is $2875. For a Sharps hunting rifle, I'd put the money into a Shiloh or C Sharps No 1 Sporter with shotgun butt.

And a $5 leather recoil pad from Wal-Mart will cure those issues. My dads Model 94 Winchester has a crescent steel butt-plate with a good drop at comb and with 30-30 170gr Federal loads it FELT like being kicked by a mule when the recoil was a measly .5lbs more than my 257 Roberts with a rubber shotgun butt-plate (8.5lbs vs 8lbs). And while I will agree that a Shiloh or C Sharps is a superiorly crafted firearm, I'm not paying a $1500 premium for a gun from either company that is like that Pedersoli and waiting 20-24 months for the gun to be built. I'll spend $5 on my Wal-Mart recoil pad and the remaining $1495 on a Malcolm 6x barrel length scope & Goodwin windage/elevation instrument for long range shooting and sling. And before we get on the issue of recoil sensitivity, I'll admit I don't react well to steel butt-plates in heavy bore loads. But heavy bore loads plus a good slip on recoil pad/butt-plate pad and I'm as happy as a clam with everything from 405 Winchester to 50 BMG.

Whats so wrong about using a Sharps with Creedmore's for DG hunting at range? If I think I'm going to get into close range encounters of the third kind, I'll be sure to have my 375 H&H Mag Safari Express Model 70 at the ready.

56hawk
August 26, 2011, 10:16 PM
There are no modern 45-120 Sharps cartridges, they are all BPCR rounds. That is, they are loaded with BP. High volume smokeless loads don't exist and no one has a rifle chambered in 45-120 Sharps (although I'm very sure one could be built with the right amount of money).

The 45-70 is also an old BPCR. Since you are reloading anyway I don't see this as an issue.

My point was that you could rechamber your 45-70 to a 45-120 with a simple chamber reamer and gain the extra powder capacity needed to hit 1950 fps at low pressure. Norma and Jamison make new brass and Lyman and RCBS make dies so reloading should be easy.

Looking in my reloading manual:

45-70 500gr 1750 fps 36,700 psi
45-120 500gr 1750 fps 27,800 psi

Bump up the pressure in the 45-120 and you should be right where you want to be. And since it's an original Sharps cartridge it would be pretty cool in your rifle.

Ridgerunner665
August 26, 2011, 10:49 PM
H4895 or Varget...

Either of those will push a 400-405 grain bullet at 1,850 fps from a 22 " barrel while staying well within Trapdoor safe pressures....or a 430 grain lead bullet at 1,800 fps.

Check out Hodgdens online data...

I can't help you with bullets over 430 grains...I love my 45-70's, but I prefer the middle weight bullets.

Ole Humpback
August 26, 2011, 11:02 PM
The 45-70 is also an old BPCR. Since you are reloading anyway I don't see this as an issue.

My point was that you could rechamber your 45-70 to a 45-120 with a simple chamber reamer and gain the extra powder capacity needed to hit 1950 fps at low pressure. Norma and Jamison make new brass and Lyman and RCBS make dies so reloading should be easy.

Looking in my reloading manual:

45-70 500gr 1750 fps 36,700 psi
45-120 500gr 1750 fps 27,800 psi

Bump up the pressure in the 45-120 and you should be right where you want to be. And since it's an original Sharps cartridge it would be pretty cool in your rifle.

My initial thought at first read was that there'd be monster issues with a small volume of smokeless powder in the high volume 45-120 case, then I thought about filling some of that void space with cream of wheat or some other inert powder. Would that work? If so, that would also allow me to "down load" it for other tasks. Only thing I'd worry about is how well the brass would hold up to that kind of shooting.

My real push for the 45-70 is that I live in Indiana and one of my plans for the 45-70 was to cut the brass down to 1.625" and make a "45-50" (http://ingunowners.com/forums/ammunition_and_reloading/57335-45_50_info_all_in_one_place.html#post625398) so that I'd have an Indiana legal deer cartridge in a chamber that could go on Safari with as well. A few people I know did this with a 38-55, but there just isn't any room in a 38-55 after the bullet for anything more than deer or target shooting at 1400fps. Maybe with a 550gr cast lead bullet I could cut a 45-120 down enough to make it legal for Indiana.

H4895 or Varget...

Either of those will push a 400-405 grain bullet at 1,850 fps from a 22 " barrel while staying well within Trapdoor safe pressures....or a 430 grain lead bullet at 1,800 fps.

Check out Hodgdens online data...

I can't help you with bullets over 430 grains...I love my 45-70's, but I prefer the middle weight bullets.

Problem with DG hunting is that you need a .3 or better sectional density. This means that you need to start with a 450gr or heavier bullet.

Ridgerunner665
August 26, 2011, 11:10 PM
I use quilt batting for filler with reduced loads...its very cheap, and it works.

56hawk
August 26, 2011, 11:13 PM
Accurate 5744 can be used for reduced loads. They say not to use any filler with it. I'm sure there are other powders that would work as well.

Ridgerunner665
August 26, 2011, 11:24 PM
I see your point with the .3 sectional density...and I knew that, but there is no magic "line in the sand" at .3...

Most 425-430 grain 45-70 bullets have an SD of around .290...and its MUCH easier to get them "up to speed" than it is the heavy weights.

I'm not arguing with you or anything...but a good many grizzly bears have fallen to 400 grain bullets, buffalo too...you didn't mention exactly which flavor of DG you were after in the original post (the only one I read, LOL)...but if its anything bigger than a buffalo (of any variety...American, Asian, African...doesn't matter IMO) get a bigger gun (458 WM, one of the 416's, 375 H&H, etc.)

As I said...you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger 45-70 nut than me, but even the old war horse has its limitations. I'm a decent shot with pretty cool nerves, but I ain't about to go after rhino, elephant, with a 45-70...Cape Buffalo or lion, a good 425-430 at 1,800 fps would do the trick with a well placed shot.

That said...I'll never hunt those critters so all I can say is "good luck".

Jim Watson
August 26, 2011, 11:26 PM
Ken Waters shot the .458 RCBS (.45 Basic brass trimmed to 2.75" because that was the longest that would get past the hammer into a Navy Arms new made Rolling Block.)
He got a 400 gr bullet up to 2120 fps and a 500 to 1934 fps with powders available in 1975.

Or chamber to .45x 2 7/8" and have a historically standard chamber.

Problem: As I understand it, in at least some safari countries, your ammunition must be headstamped to match the caliber designation on the gun.

Ole Humpback
August 28, 2011, 05:17 PM
Well, after looking further into 56hawks data, I've found that there are a handful of smokeless 45-120 loads that are in the MV & ME range I'm looking for. Now it seems that I'll be needing to add a Shiloh 45-120 Sharps to the list of guns I want.

ArchAngelCD
August 29, 2011, 02:20 AM
Now it seems that I'll be needing to add a Shiloh 45-120 Sharps to the list of guns I want.
And this is a bad thing HOW?? :neener:

Ole Humpback
August 29, 2011, 12:19 PM
And this is a bad thing HOW??

Its not a bad thing at all :D

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